First appearing in the pages of New Mutants #100 back in April of 1991, X-Force has remained something of a mainstay in Marvel Comics ever since the team’s inception. Formed by the powerful, time-travelling mutant Cable, the team’s primary purpose is to protect mutantkind by any means necessary, trading in the idealistic morals of teams like the X-Men in favor of a more lethal, incisive approach. Consisting of some of Marvel’s more morally flexible characters, the team has no qualms with killing for the greater good, frequently operating over the heads of the X-Men as a black ops unit that can change the course of mutant history without anyone even knowing they were involved.
Given the inherently aggressive nature of X-Force, it seems fitting that the team is set to make their big screen debut in the ultra-violent Deadpool 2, with the movie introducing several of the team’s recurring members including Cable, Domino and Bedlam. X-Force has played host to an impressive line-up of diversely powered characters over the years, from world-class assassins to powerful sorcerers, with the team showcasing some of Marvel’s most underappreciated heavy hitters. In the spirit of that, we’ve ranked the various members of X-Force from weakest to most powerful.
One of the few X-Force team members confirmed to be appearing in Deadpool 2, Bedlam -- played by Terry Crews in the movie -- is one of the more obscure members of the team. Able to detect and identify various forms of energy, Bedlam’s mutant ability allows him to emit an electromagnetic field that can disrupt, interfere with, or straight-up fry electrical equipment, making him a walking, talking EMP device.
Bedlam can also use this ability to influence chemical reactions and neurons in the human brain, giving him the ability to cause fatigue, confusion, pain and other states in his enemies. In addition to all of this, Bedlam is a skilled hand-to-hand combatant, having both the memories of a karate black belt and extensive training from the likes of Domino.
Born Julio Esteban Richter, Rictor is a mutant with the ability to control and create seismic energy on both a small and large scale. Able to destroy small objects by inducing powerful vibrations inside of them, Rictor is also capable of much more destructive feats, able to use his power on a scale large enough to create earthquakes and disturb tectonic plates.
Despite his potential however, Rictor’s control of his mutant ability leaves a lot to be desired, with the hero reluctant to use his powers in unstable areas out of fear he’ll unwillingly cause massive destruction. Regardless, there’s no denying the raw power of Rictor’s abilities -- so much so that they even seem to grant him an empathic bond with the Earth itself.
Operating under several different codenames over the years -- including Boom-Boom, Meltdown and Time Bomb -- Tabitha joined X-Force at Cable’s suggestion, following his restructure of the New Mutants into a new X-Force team.
Able to project concussive plasma energy in the shape of glowing yellow orbs, Tabitha can use this power to knock down her opponents and create massive explosions. The strength of Tabitha’s blasts tends to vary by writer, but are proven to be potent enough to destroy a Nimrod Sentinel. More recently, Tabitha has also learned to channel her blasts into streams of plasma energy. To top it all off, Tabitha is also a talented thief as well as a capable fighter -- all essential characteristics for a member of any black ops team.
Boasting a peculiar set of lupine-based abilities under her belt, Rahne Sinclair -- more commonly referred to as Wolfsbane -- is a Scottish mutant whose powers allow her to take the form of various wolf-like creatures, able to transform into anything from an innocuous red wolf to a terrifying werewolf. These transformations grant Wolfsbane the increased strength, reflexes, senses and agility associated with her current form, although the battle to keep her animalistic instincts under control is a constant struggle.
Joining X-Force in several of its various incarnations, Wolfsbane has also been associated with other teams such as Excalibur and the New Mutants. In fact, Wolfsbane is slated to appear in the upcoming Fox project The New Mutants, where she’ll be played by Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams.
One of the founding members of the New Mutants, Cannonball is one of the most accomplished characters on the team, being the first to make the jump to the X-Men following his time in the New Mutants, and later X-Force. The eldest sibling in a large Southern family of superpowered beings, Cannonball’s mutant ability allows him to create and expel thermo-chemical energy in his body, enabling him to propel himself at impressive speeds.
Although Cannonball was initially only able to expel this energy from his legs, the character has since learned to emit blasts from any part of his body, dramatically widening his combat capabilities. While using his powers, Cannonball also generates a near-impenetrable forcefield around his body that protects him from harm, which he’s even used to redirect the incredibly powerful blows of Gladiator.
The daughter of prominent X-Man Banshee, as well as on-and-off love interest of Deadpool, Theresa Cassidy, aka Siryn, has abilities similar to those of her father, though her set of powers appear to be somewhat more versatile than his. Able to produce high-pitched “sonic screams”, Siryn uses this ability to fly, shatter objects, deflect bullets, knock back opponents and even track people and objects.
Amongst Siryn’s greatest powers is her ability to manipulate and control the minds of others to a limited degree. Frequently employing mind control and hypnosis to succeed in the task at hand, she can also use her abilities to force people to fall in love with her. After taking on the role as the new Morrigan, Siryn has also gained a series of ill-defined mystical abilities, allowing her to utilize various forms of magic including teleportation.
Hailing from a dystopian future timeline referred to as Mojoworld, Shatterstar was initially sent back in time to contact the X-Men, hoping to free his home from the tyrannical reign of the villainous Mojo. The son of mutants Dazzler and Longshot, Shatterstar was genetically engineered by Mojo to serve as a gladiator for his entertainment, giving him vastly increased physical abilities.
With superhuman strength, reflexes, speed and stamina under his belt, Shatterstar has the brains to match his brawn, proving himself to be a brilliant strategist and combat tactician. Also knowledgeable in martial arts and swordsmanship, Shatterstar is a powerhouse even before his mutant ability comes into play. Capable of producing powerful shockwaves and intense vibrations, Shatterstar is able to charge his weapons with this power, and is even capable of opening up portals used for teleportation.
First appearing in Giant Size X-Men #1, Piotr Rasputin, more commonly known as Colossus, was one of several new X-Men characters introduced in the '70s to freshen up the team’s roster, becoming an iconic member of the team in the process. Able to turn his entire body into an incredibly strong organic steel on demand, Colossus’ list of abilities is short but sweet.
With Class-100 superhuman strength, Colossus is up there with the heaviest hitters Earth has to offer and has even been shown to put up a good fight against the likes of the Juggernaut. In fact, when Cyttorak possessed Colossus, the entity refused to leave, citing Piotr as the perfect host. In addition to his strength, Colossus is also extremely durable, allowing him to shrug off all but the most powerful blows, and is also one of the most experienced members of the X-Men.
One of the most beloved members of both the New Mutants and X-Force, Sunspot is a Brazilian mutant with the ability to absorb, convert and project solar energy, enabling him to perform a multitude of fiery feats. Able to use solar energy to boost his strength, fire concussive beams and emit light and heat, Sunspot was initially still vulnerable to injury despite his amazing abilities.
After an extensive and brutal experiment at the hands of the nefarious Gideon however, Sunspot’s durability and strength skyrocketed, allowing him to both dish out and take significantly more powerful blows. While in his solar form, Sunspot takes on a shadowy black appearance, with the color allowing him to maximise the absorption of solar energy, further increasing his power level.
Another New Mutants character set to appear in Fox’s upcoming movie of the same name, Danielle Moonstar isn’t exactly a household name despite her impressive, ever-expanding set of abilities. Able to cast illusions and project images into the minds of others, Danielle primarily uses the fear of her opponents to produce vivid hallucinations in their minds.
Her psionic powers also let her create weapons made of psionic energy, including arrows and spears, though this power is somewhat inconsistently portrayed. As if that wasn’t enough, Danielle can also communicate with animals, which led to her saving an Asgardian horse named Brightwind -- which in turn gave her the powers of a Valkyrie. With these powers, Danielle is physically stronger and can perform several, undefined mystical abilities -- and can even sense impending death.
Debuting in 1991’s Uncanny X-Men #282, Lucas Bishop soon became a key figure in the X-Men franchise, travelling from an apocalyptic future known as “Forever Yesterday” to join up with the team. His mutant ability enables him to absorb various different forms of energy thrown his way, before amplifying and expelling that energy in powerful blasts. Unlike many other mutants with similar abilities, Bishop’s capabilities are vast, even able to absorb psychic, kinetic and magic energies.
Due to his role as an officer in the XSE, Bishop is also proficient in hand-to-hand combat and is well-versed in a variety of powerful, oversized weaponry, making him both a highly skilled warrior and an obvious product of the '90s. Bishop is also an experienced time traveller, with the character frequently seen traveling through time in an attempt to “fix” various aspects of history, often making things worse instead.
As his somewhat on-the-nose moniker might suggest, Warpath, born James Proudstar, is a man with an axe to grind. Kicking off his comic book career as a member of the Hellions, Warpath initially had a bitter hatred for the X-Men, who he blamed for the death of his brother, Thunderbird, who had previously been a member of the team.
Eventually giving up his vendetta in favor of joining the X-Men, Warpath later serves as a longstanding member of X-Force. More powerful than even his brother, Warpath’s mutant abilities have boosted his various physical attributes to superhuman level. Strong enough to tackle even the Juggernaut, Warpath has also been known to take down a Sentinel by clapping in its direction, and can even run at speeds surpassing 90 miles per hour. Combined with superhuman senses and reflexes and a healing factor, Warpath is a true force to be reckoned with.
An exceptional marksman and top tier combatant, Neena Thurman -- operating under the name Domino -- first came into contact with Cable as a member of the mercenary group known as Six Pack. Leaving an impression on Cable with her incredible skill, Domino would later serve as an important member of the X-Force where her abilities stood out as exceptional, eventually becoming the group’s leader in Cable’s absence.
The result of “Project: Armageddon”, a nefarious government experiment to create the “perfect weapon”, Domino has the ability to affect luck and probability in her immediate area. Manifesting as a psionically activated form of telekinesis, Domino’s luck allows her to gain the upper hand in most combat situations, with physics and uncanny timing usually working in her favor, while enemies are subjected to random inconveniences, weapon failures and other distractions.
The genetic offspring of Wolverine himself, Laura Kinney has powers similar to those of her father -- and a temper to match. Raised in the Weapon X program to be an unstoppable killing machine, X-23 spent the first few years of her life being trained as a ruthless assassin, conditioned to respond to a “trigger scent” that would send her into a berserker rage, killing anyone and anything in the vicinity.
Eventually escaping from the facility that created her, Laura later found Wolverine and the X-Men, attempting to put her brutal past behind her. Becoming a valuable member of several teams including the X-Men, Avengers Academy and X-Force, Laura’s retractable adamantium claws, superhuman reflexes, senses, agility and accelerated healing factor make her an unstoppable force of nature -- especially when she’s angry.
Debuting in 1963’s The X-Men #1 as one of the team’s original members, Warren Worthington III was long considered one of the title’s most central characters. After several years of fighting for the X-Men as the altruistic Angel however, Warren’s life would change forever when his genes are altered by Apocalypse, turning him into the blue-skinned, metal-winged Archangel.
Able to fly at incredible speeds, Archangel can also project razor sharp metal feathers from his techno-organic wings, which can be laced with potent toxins or paralyzing agents. Also granted increased strength and durability by his transformation, Warren is formidable enough to be named as Death, one of Apocalypse’s Four Horsemen -- with a view of one day becoming an heir to Apocalypse himself.
One of the weirder characters to be introduced into the Marvel Universe in the past couple of decades, Fantomex made his first appearance in 2002’s New X-Men #128, seeking shelter with the X-Men after being hunted by the authorities. Later discovered to be a part of the Weapon Plus program, Fantomex was created as a form of Super-Sentinel built with nanotechnology, making him ideal for hunting mutants and other superpowered beings.
Owning a techno-organic ship named EVA that doubles as part of his central nervous system, Fantomex has three separate brains, enabling him to survive the destruction of his current brain if necessary. Able to skew reality to cast illusions and misdirect his enemies, Fantomex has also inherited enhanced physicality, combat prowess and a healing factor, making him one of the more dangerous Super Soldier experiments around.
Introduced in 1976 as Betsy Braddock, sister of the superhero Captain Britain, it wasn’t until ten years later that Psylocke as we know her today was born. Having her mind implanted in the body of a Japanese ninja by the villain Spiral, Betsy’s powers and combat mastery were significantly boosted in the process.
One of the most versatile psychics in the Marvel Universe, Psylocke has strong telepathic capabilities as well as precognition and telekinesis, which she can use to enhance her strength, speed and durability. Able to create psionic constructs at will, Betsy frequently uses this power to create psychic weapons -- usually katanas or knives -- that can shut down the central nervous systems of its victims as well as cut through matter. Given her status as a master swordsman and martial artist, Psylocke’s strong array of superpowers make her more than a match for even the strongest fighters in the Marvel Universe.
After initially appearing as a villain back in 1991’s The New Mutants #98, Deadpool quickly rose to popularity as one of Marvel’s most recognisable faces thanks to his unique, fourth-wall breaking comedy and gruesome, morally questionable antics. A profoundly insane individual, Deadpool’s madness may actually be one of his greatest assets, with his self-awareness as a fictional character allowing him to bend the rules of the medium and gain the upper hand on his foes.
Highly skilled with firearms, edged weapons and explosives, Deadpool is amongst the most creative killers on the planet, even displaying the skill and ingenuity to murder every superpowered being in existence in the pages of Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe. Combine this with a tremendously speedy healing factor and a complete fearlessness in the face of death, and it becomes clear that Deadpool’s naughty list is the last place you want to find yourself.
Amongst the first in a new crop of violent, murderous antiheroes created as a response to the Vietnam War, Wolverine’s seething rage and willingness to take lives for the greater good was radically different from the vast majority of superheroes at the time, quickly propelling him into the upper echelons of comic book stardom. Created as a part of the Weapon X program, Wolverine’s entire skeleton was bonded with adamantium -- complete with a set of deadly retractable claws -- that combined with his rapidly-acting healing factor made him essentially indestructible.
With over 100 years of experience under his belt, Wolverine has become one of the most formidable hand-to-hand combatants in the world, thriving as both a rage-fuelled berserker and a disciplined warrior thanks to his time in Japan. In short, there’s a reason he’s the best there is at what he does.
The time-displaced son of X-Man Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor, a cloned Jean Grey, Nathan Summers never really stood any chance at a normal life. Sent to the future as an infant to shield him from the dark plans of Mr. Sinister, Nathan Summers would eventually grow into the hero known as Cable. Returning to the present, Cable served as the founder of X-Force, saving the entirety of mutantkind on countless occasions.
An Omega-Level Mutant, Cable’s telepathic and telekinetic capabilities are second to none, especially following the removal of the techno-organic virus that had previously limited his powers. Shown to be capable of lifting entire cities and employing telepathy on a planetary scale, Cable is cybernetically enhanced to boot. An unmatched warrior, Cable has managed to beat the likes of Captain America in hand-to-hand combat, and has even bested the likes of Red Hulk through sheer force of will and ingenuity.